Hike-in Required
Potable water
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The Devils Peak Lookout is one of the closest accessible lookout towers to Portland, and it is therefore one of the more difficult towers to access. The tower is accessed on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be reserved for use. Because the vigorous hike that is required to access the tower would be difficult to complete as a round trip, it is recommended that visitors come prepared to sleep outside the tower if necessary.

Situated at the top of 5,045-foot Devils Peak, the tower offers outstanding views of the surrounding Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. Originally used as a fire lookout due to the high prominence, the tower was decommissioned in the 1970s and made available for public use. The minimalist accommodations include a wood burning stove, cots, and shelving. Firewood is stored below the shelter, but it may not be available depending on usage.

During the summer months Devils Peak Lookout is a popular destination for visitors who want to stretch their legs on the difficult trail from Cool Creek Trailhead, which totals 4 miles each way and climbs a grueling 3,200 feet in elevation. Winter snows make this a challenging and rewarding snowshoe hike. A light pack weight and sturdy boots are recommended, but the trail is well maintained and easy to follow.

Alternate access to the lookout tower can be made from Kinzel Lake. Road access to the Kinzel Lake Trailhead is very bumpy and may not be accessible to some vehicles.

Logistics + Planning

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Open Year-round



Access, beautiful views


First come first serve-- tough to claim

Pets allowed


Managed by

Forest Service


Wood stove
Firewood provided


Nearby Adventures

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area


Be very aware of weather when snowshoeing in the winter.

Watch driving conditions on Still Creek Road if you are hiking from Cool Creek Trailhead. We drove up to about a mile from the trailhead in a foot of fresh powder with our AWD SUV (with chains) before hiking the rest of the road to the trailhead on foot.

I had summitted on the same unfortunate day the woman was killed by a cougar August 29, so I knew the terrain when we began snowshoeing Feb. 20th. We did not have a GPS device, and we got lost somewhere 3/4 of the way to the lookout while hiking in the evening. I recommend having a GPS tracker if hiking in 1 ft+ of brand new powder by moonlight and headlamp.
Note the trailhead is named "Cool Creek", not named by #794/784. Very icy once you turn onto NF-2612. The higher elevations had quite a bit of snow - the top two miles up and back down, the rest was patchy snow and dirt. The climb is aggressive, but the views are worth it. Didn't see a soul all day. Be careful if you're attempting after a fresh snow dump. I didn't observe any tree blazes, though some nice trail angel has left pink trail tape about a mile out from the lookout tower. If someone hadn't already broken trail and you were new to the route, there are places that could be tricky. No wood at the lookout, be prepared to pack you own up the hill.
Devil's Peak Lookout has gained year-round popularity. The rangers at Zig Zag Station advised a mid-week hike if you want to improve your chances of staying inside the tower.

If you do intend an overnight stay, pack your tent and either cram into one of the three or four sites immediately surrounding the lookout or wander into the trees within 100ft of the peak where there are some primitive sites that have been established.

Whether you're sleeping inside the lookout or your tent nearby, there's some breathtaking views to be enjoyed of Mt Hood, east and south from the summit.
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